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FAN EXPO BOSTON RETURNS JUNE 14-16, 2024

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Boston’s premier pop culture extravaganza will bring together celebrity guests, comic creators, favorite franchises, cosplayers and more!  New Location and New Date in June Will Energize Boston’s Back Bay on FAN EXPO Boston Weekend

(Boston, MA) – April 25 – FAN EXPO Boston, the three-day pop culture extravaganza, returns with a spectacular lineup of celebrity guests, voice actors, comic creators, cosplayers and more. This year the event will take place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston June 14-16. FAN EXPO is THE biggest pop culture event in Boston where fans of everyone’s favorite comics, manga, anime, tv shows, movies, and more can come together and celebrate alongside friends, family, and of course, the people who have brought those stories to life.

This year’s show will include a number of celebrities, including Rosario Dawson, Eman Esfandi and Diana Lee Inosanto (Ahsoka), Marisa Tomei (Oscar Winning Actress), Sam Raimi (Legendary Director), Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil), Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, Beverly D’Angelo, and Dana Barron (National Lampoon’s series), Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Star Wars, Resident Alien), Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs (Charmed), Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager, Orange is the New Black), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Mads Mikkelsen, (Hannibal, Fantastic Beast: The Secret of Dumbledore),Temuera Morrison, (The Book of Boba Fett and Moana), Hugh Dancy (Hannibal) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, Spider-Man 3).

“FAN EXPO Boston is happening in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood this June. We’ve assembled a powerful roster celebrities, comic creators, artists, retailers and more to offer the ultimate one-stop-shop fan experience. We invite fans to come and meet their favorite actors and creators, and enjoy priceless photo ops, autograph experiences, celebrity panels and all things fandom – all in one place.”  said Andrew Moyes, Vice President of FAN EXPO.

FAN EXPO BOSTON CELEBRITY GUESTS INCLUDE:
  • Bryce Dallas Howard, JURASSIC WORLD, SPIDER-MAN 3
  • Mads Mikkelsen, HANNIBAL, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRET OF DUMBLEDORE
  • Hugh Dancy, HANNIBAL
  • Temuera Morrison, THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, MOANA
  • Rosario Dawson, AHSOKA
  • Marisa Tomei, OSCAR WINNING ACTRESS
  • Sam Raimi, Director, LEGENDARY DIRECTOR
  • Charlie Cox, DAREDEVIL
  • Chevy Chase, NATIONAL LAMPOON Series
  • Alan Tudyk, FIREFLY, STAR WARS, RESIDENT ALIEN
  • Randy Quaid, NATIONAL LAMPOON Series
  • Beverly D’Angelo, NATIONAL LAMPOON Series
  • Kate Mulgrew, STAR TREK: VOYAGER, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
  • Mario Lopez, SAVED BY THE BELL
  • Mark Paul Gosselaar, SAVED BY THE BELL
  • Vivienne Medrano, CREATOR OF HAZBIN HOTEL AND HELLUVA BOSS
  • Butch Hartman, CREATOR AND WRITER OF FAIRLY ODD PARENTS AND DANNY PHANTOM
  • Vincent D’Onofrio, DAREDEVIL
  • Dana Barron, NATIONAL LAMPOON Series
  • Sean Gunn, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
  • Eman Esfandi, AHSOKA
  • Diana Lee Inosanto, AHSOKA
  • Holly Marie Combs, CHARMED, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
FAN EXPO BOST

2024 Sundance Film Festival: Local Lens Free Summer Screenings Program & Special Artist Event Announced

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Top L–R: Skywalkers: A Love Story, Daughters, My Old Ass. Center L–R: Your Monster, Sugarcane, Dìdi (弟弟). Bottom L–R: Layla, Eno, 20 Feet from Stardom.
Indoor and Outdoor Screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City, and West Valley City for Locals

PARK CITY, UT, June 13, 2024 — The nonprofit Sundance Institute announced today program details for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival: Local Lens, a free summer screening series designed specially for the local community of Utah, our longtime host state. Taking place July 17–21 at venues across Park City and Salt Lake County, the program will provide Utahns with free indoor and outdoor screenings of some of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival’s most acclaimed films, the majority of them not yet released. Park City locations include The Ray Theatre and City Park, and Salt Lake County locations include Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Broadway Centre Cinemas, and Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, as well as Megaplex Theatres at Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City. Local Lens is part of Sundance Institute’s rich history in Utah supporting engaging new stories and groundbreaking independent artists by bringing audiences together.

See the full program lineup below with free tickets available to reserve now for screenings at www.sundance.org/local-lens. Be sure to check out titles featuring Aubrey Plaza, musician Brian Eno, Joan Chen, Maddie Ziegler, Meghann Fahy, Melissa Barrera, and more, in addition to breakout directing and performances from films that were discovered and premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, which celebrated the 40th edition held in Utah. 

Earlier this summer, Utah film fans were part of the Local Lens programming process. The 2024 Sundance Film Festival marked a milestone 40th edition, and in honor of that audiences had the opportunity to select a movie from contenders representing four different decades of the Festival. The Audience Choice Screening winner is 20 Feet from Stardom, directed by Morgan Neville, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and later won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It will be shown outdoors at the Gallivan Center on the final day of Local Lens.

In addition to the screenings, local Utah filmmakers have the opportunity to participate in a “Filmmaking Deep Dive” event led by programmers from the Sundance Film Festival. Building on the success of our pitch event last summer, we are delighted to offer filmmakers seeking project feedback an opportunity to connect with fellow creatives, gain invaluable insights, and for a selection to pitch their projects to a panel of experts. Please find all details below.

“Each year, Local Lens connects our Utah community with Sundance films and filmmakers. We’re thrilled to be back presenting free summer screenings featuring a curated selection of extraordinary films from our 2024 Sundance Film Festival,” said Eugene Hernandez, Director, Sundance Film Festival and Public Programming. “The long relationship between Utah and Sundance Institute has built and nurtured a home base for our Festival and we look forward to welcoming returning and new audiences to experience this summer’s programming, as well as continuing that journey of discovery together at the 2025 Sundance Film Festival in January. This year’s Local Lens selection features true discoveries in every sense and will be presented as part of our indoor and outdoor screening serie

“YOUR MONSTER” WINS AUDIENCE FAVOURITE AWARD AT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: LONDON 2024

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(L-R: Cast: Melissa Barrera, Director, Producer & Screenwriter: Caroline Lindy and Producer & Cast: Kayla Foster)

London, 09 June 2024 — Picturehouse and the nonprofit Sundance Institute announced tonight that Sundance Film Festival: London’s 2024 Audience Favourite Award is presented to Your Monster, directed, produced and written by Caroline Lindy and produced by Kayla Foster. The cast features Melissa Barrera, Tommy Dewey, Meghann Fahy, Edmund Donovan and Kayla Foster.

After her life falls apart, soft-spoken actress Laura Franco finds her voice again when she meets a terrifying, yet weirdly charming, monster living in her closet.

Your Monster had its UK premiere at Sundance Film Festival: London following its World Premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A earlier this year. 

Festival-goers voted in the thousands for their favourite films across the four-day event at Picturehouse Central for this Audience Favourite Award.

The festival ran from 6 to 9 June and had a busy line-up featuring 11 exciting feature films; the UK short film programme made up of seven shorts showcasing the best of emerging UK filmmaking talent; the dedicated Industry Talks Programme and Interactive Pitch Panel; plus three thought-provoking public talks featuring top filmmakers and industry experts.

Numerous filmmakers and actors attended the festival to introduce their films and participate in audience Q&As including: writer and director Rich Peppiatt whose Irish-language film, Kneecap opened the festival and was joined by featured rappers DJ Próvaí, Mo Chara and Móglaí Bap alongside cast members, Michael Fassbender, Josie Walker, Jessica Reynolds and Fionnuala Flaherty. Academy Award® nominated director Sean Wang and producer Carlos López Estrada closed the festival with Didi (弟弟), acclaimed directors David and Nathan Zellner attended with their film Sasquatch Sunset, Chiwetel Ejiofor introduced his adaptation of Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling and critically acclaimed biography Rob Peace, director Caroline Lindy and producer Kayla Foster attended with their wholly original debut Your Monster with cast members Melissa Barrera and Meghann Fahy, director Shuchi Talati along with actor Preeti Panigrahi and cinematographer Jih-E Peng introduced their film Girls Will Be Girls, winner of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic and World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting presented to Panigrahi earlier this year and Thea Hvistendahl introduced her chilly, disturbing Handling the Undead from Norway, winner of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Original Music presented to Peter Raeburn at this year’s Festival.

Documentary filmmakers in attendance included multi-Emmy award-winning filmmaker Jeff Zimbalist, co-director Maria Bukhonina and producer Tamir Ardon with their documentary Skywalkers: A Love Story and Never Look Away director Lucy Lawless attended the festival with producer Matthew Metcalfe.

The short film programme dedicated to UK productions consisted of seven titles and filmmakers in attendance included Xenia Glen for Alo, Yero Timi-Biu for Essex Girls, Tom Stuart for Good Boy, Aephie Chen for Mamu, Mario Radev for [S], Read more

CHOOSE CHICAGO, CITY OF CHICAGO ANNOUNCE PROGRAMMING DETAILS OF SUNDANCE INSTITUTE X CHICAGO 2024 (June 28 – 30)

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Tickets are now available for the first-of-its-kind event in the United States featuring three days of screenings and programming for Chicago audiences, including titles from the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

CHICAGO – (May 30, 2024) — Choose Chicago, in partnership with the City of Chicago and the nonprofit Sundance Institute, announced today programming and schedule details of the highly anticipated inaugural Sundance Institute x Chicago event, June 28 – 30. This landmark event will showcase a lineup of films and panel discussions, celebrating both the art of filmmaking and championing creative independence in Chicago’s vibrant cultural sector. Tickets for all screenings, panel discussions, and master classes are now available at SundanceInstitutexChicago.com.

“Chicago’s dynamic cultural scene is an ideal backdrop for this special collaboration with the Sundance Institute,” says Rich Gamble, Interim President and CEO at Choose Chicago. “We are proud to partner with the City of Chicago and the Sundance Institute to produce a new, only-in-Chicago experience that celebrates diverse storytelling and supports our brilliant local community of filmmakers.” 

Clinée Hedspeth, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which includes the Chicago Film Office, adds, “This event is a significant addition to Chicago’s cultural calendar, offering unique insights into the filmmaking process and fostering discussions that inspire and challenge audiences. Our city is admired world-wide for its culture, and this festival will further spotlight Chicago as a vibrant filmmaking hub with existing and emerging talent and voices to be celebrated.”

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981 with the mission of fostering new voices in independent storytelling, the nonprofit Sundance Institute is an iconic institution and a champion of independent filmmakers globally. The Institute operates the Sundance Film Festival and it provides year-round support to both emerging and established filmmakers through artist labs, direct grants, and educational events.

Eugene Hernandez, Festival Director and head of public programming, Sundance Institute said, “We are honored to invite the Chicago community, in a city known for its deep appreciation of the arts and culture, to experience a taste of the Sundance Institute for a few days next month. We’re excited and looking forward to engaging with emerging artists and film-lovers from Chicagoland and beyond through screenings, workshops, and speaking programs.”

Tickets for Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 screenings will be $20. A portion of the box office proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Alliance of Film Festivals (CAFF). The donation to CAFF will be used to support their members’ festivals and their important contribution to championing creative independence in Chicago.

“On behalf of the 44 members of the Chicago Alliance of Film Festival, we are extremely grateful for this meaningful support from the Sundance Institute and Choose Chicago,” said Karen Cardarelli, Executive Director of Facets Multi-Media and a CAFF representative. “These funds will be redistributed to member organizations through a regranting process. The much-needed support will help our members further CAFF’s collective goal to enhance the cultural and economic vitality of our communities.”

The three-day event will include Midwest premiere screenings of four films drawn from the Sundance Film Festival’s lineup in January, along with a robust series of panel discus

“Saved!” and “Rudo y Cursi” Among Films With May Anniversaries

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Diego Luna’s character Beto aims to play professional soccer in Carlos Cuarón’s film “Rudo y Cursi.”

By Lucy Spicer

Can you believe we’re almost at the midpoint of 2024? Before summer arrives (and flies by in what will surely feel like mere moments), why not take some time to look back on what this year has brought into your life so far? Our monthly ritual of commemorating anniversaries for Sundance-supported film releases may leave us feeling old (how has it already been 20 years since Mandy Moore threw a Bible at Jena Malone in Saved!?), but it also reminds us that our favorite films have had a hand in shaping our lives.

This month’s batch of films includes a tale about a persistent (and hilarious) Australian family, a love story set in a small Chinese village, a religious satire that doubles as a teen film, a comedy-drama where two brothers compete on the soccer field, and a documentary about one of the world’s largest parties for electronic dance music.

The Castle (1999) — Tow-truck driver Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton) has a distinctly working-class lifestyle with his loving family in their home located directly adjacent to the airport. But to the Kerrigans, their house is their castle and they couldn’t be happier. The family’s unconventional paradise is threatened when the government sends them a notice of compulsory acquisition — their house will be sacrificed so that the airport can expand. Unwilling to relinquish their precious home, the Kerrigans take their claim of unlawful eviction all the way to the highest court in the country. Directed by Rob Sitch and shot in only 11 days on Super 16 mm film, The Castle has become an icon of Aussie cinema. The extremely quotable comedy opened in Australia in 1997 before screening at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and releasing in U.S. theaters the following year. Check here for viewing options.

The Road Home (2001) — When narrator Luo Yusheng (Sun Honglei) hears that his father has died, he departs for the village where he grew up — and where his father served as a teacher for 40 years — to help his mother prepare for the funeral. The film’s present-day black-and-white scenes serve as a frame for the narrator’s parents’ epic love story, recounted in vibrant color. Directed by Zhang Yimou, The Road Home was adapted for the screen by Bao Shi based on his novel Remembrance. The film screened at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Audience Award. Check here for viewing options.

Saved! (2004) — Teenage Mary (Jena Malone) is living her best life as an Evangelical Christian: She’s entering her senior year at a good Christian school, she’s a member of a girl group led by super-Christian Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), and she’s dating Dean (Chad Faust), the ideal Christian boyfriend. When Dean admits that he might be gay, Mary’s world turns upside down. Her efforts to “help” Dean go awry, but even as Mary begins to question everything she’s built her life on, she discovers friendship and acceptance in unexpected places. Director Brian Dannelly’s tongue-in-cheek satire premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and features an ensemble cast that includes

SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: LONDON 2024 REVEALS FULL PROGRAMME LINE-UP BURSTING WITH BOLD CINEMATIC VOICES FOR 11TH EDITION

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IN ADDITION TO FICTION AND DOCUMENTARY FEATURES, THE SELECTION INCLUDES:
● PROGRAMME OF SPECIALLY CURATED UK SHORT FILMS ● SURPRISE FILM SCREENING RETURNS ● PROGRAMME WILL ALSO INCLUDE TITLES TO CELEBRATE 40TH EDITION OF THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IN THE U.S.

Tickets on sale to Picturehouse members and festival passholders now

Tickets to general public on sale April 30

Festival runs at Picturehouse Central, London, 6-9 June 2024

London, 23 April 2024 — Picturehouse and the nonprofit Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of 11 feature fiction and documentary films, a specially curated programme of UK short films and a strand of repertory titles to celebrate the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. for the 11th edition of Sundance Film Festival: London 2024, taking place from 6 to 9 June at Picturehouse Central.

These 11 feature films premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January and were specially curated for London by the Sundance Film Festival programming team in collaboration with Picturehouse. The Festival previously announced that it will open on 6 June with the UK premiere of writer and director Rich Peppiatt’s raucous and infectious Irish-language film, Kneecap and will close on 9 June with the UK premiere of Dìdi (弟弟) written and directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sean Wang.

In addition to those award-winning opening and closing night films, the Festival presents a full programme bursting with buzzy hits from established and first-time feature filmmakers, across narrative film and documentary. These titles are: Sasquatch Sunset by acclaimed directors David and Nathan Zellner, starring Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road, American Honey) and Academy Award® nominee Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, The Social Network); Rob Peace, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s adaptation of Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling and critically acclaimed biography; monster rom-com Your Monster, Caroline Lindy’s wholly original debut; Megan Park’s fresh coming-of-age journey of self-discovery My Old Ass starring Maisy Stella (Nashville) and Aubrey Plaza (Emily The Criminal);  Jane Schoenbrun’s second feature, I Saw The TV Glow;  Shuchi Talati’s Girls Will Be Girls winner of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic and World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting presented to Preeti Panigrahi earlier this year. The list is rounded off with Thea Hvistendahl’s chilly, disturbing Handling The Undead from Norway, winner of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Original Music presented to Peter Raeburn at this year’s Festival, starring Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person In The World). The documentaries include Skywalkers: A Love Story by multi-Emmy award winning filmmaker Jeff Zimbalist and Never Look Away by Lucy Lawless in her directorial debut.

Once again, the line-up includes a short film programme that is dedicated to UK productions, highlighting some of the amazing talent in the Short Film art form, in films either produced with the UK or made by fil

2024 ACID CANNES unveils its programme!

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The Making of “Beirut” Is as Exciting as Its Espionage Plot 

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By Shahnaz Mahmud

A screenwriter on the rise. A long forgotten script. A producer who unearthed it and held onto the dream of making it for years. A racing production during Ramadan. The story of how Beirut finally made it to the big screen has just as many twists and turns as its espionage plot.  

 The 2018 Tony Gilroy–penned political thriller centers on Mason Skiles played by Jon Hamm, a U.S. diplomat who left Lebanon in the 1970s after tragedy struck. Ten years later, the CIA sends Skiles back to a war-torn Beirut, and the mission’s success depends solely on him. Hamm is forceful as a broken man doing his best just to get through the day.

Beirut earns its place among good spy thrillers by immediately wrapping you up into the chaos of the spy world. There’s something about it, a coolness reminiscent of some of the fantastic films of the 1960s. Bullitt or The Thomas Crown Affair anyone? Hamm steps up as a leading man and exudes charisma in Beirut, which is essential as the intricate plot tangles around to see his character actually influence the actions of both the terrorists and the government representatives involved. No matter how far it goes, you willingly go along with him as the plot thickens. 

While it is a fictional story, Gilroy’s astute script was grounded in extensive research. Part of the inspiration came from the real-life kidnapping of CIA Station Chief William Buckley in 1984. 

Plot twists and turns aside, though, Beirut marks a rare moment in the film industry — when a screenplay finally gets its due nearly three decades later. Gilroy first wrote it back in 1991 when he was a young upstart, not the prolific writer-director he is now whose 30-plus-year career includes Michael Clayton, most of The Bourne franchise, Duplicity, The Devil’s Advocate, Proof of Life, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and now Andor.

When his original script for Beirut (then known as High Wire Act) made the studio rounds, it was red hot. Gilroy penned it for Interscope Films, a major studio for whom he wrote The Cutting Edge, a comedy-romance set in the world of ice skating. In fact, High Wire Act sprang from daily discussions Gilroy was having with producer Robert Cort on the set of The Cutting Edge. Cort had worked for the CIA, and both would talk about news of the day and politics, and books they were reading — mainly From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. Friedman — during those long production hours. 

While many were interested in High Wire Act in the early ’90s, the geopolitics were considered too controversial, and in the end, the film was too expensive to make. So, the script sat in a drawer for nearly a decade. Gilroy credits the buzz around High Wire Act with helping to elevate his career but he moved on never looking back. 

Enter Michael Weber — a producer who works for Radar Pictures, which is owned by American media mogul Ted Field. Field also owns Interscope Communications (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). It is, of course, the same studio that Gilroy worked for in the early ‘90s, which still owned his script.

A Love of Movies Is the Real Star of “Kim’s Video”

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Kim’s Video premiere at 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Becca Haydu

By Peter Jones

What goes around comes around, or at least rewinds back to the beginning.

It is with some irony that one of the highlights of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival is a documentary celebrating a virtually extinct media that many once considered a threat to the big screen. On the other hand, Kim’s Video — in both style and substance — is ultimately a celebration of the movies and everything a film festival would hope to represent. Kim’s Video premiered January 29 at the Ray Theatre.

For years, the business named in this film’s title was the ultimate go-to for New York film lovers. The mecca for committed cinephiles was once a VHS treasure trove boasting everything from Fellini and Bergman to Debbie Does Dallas, as well as blatantly pirated editions of esoterica that would never have been otherwise available on home video. 

But then, the collection disappeared when Korean-American owner Youngman Kim closed shop and made an unusual deal that transported the entire collection — more than 55,000 titles — to a small Sicilian village that promised to be a loving curator. But in a turn of true-life events that could have been written for the screen, nothing went as planned or promised.

Directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, film aficionados of the first order, treat their subject as a mystery before switching to the action-packed heist genre for their documentary’s final reel. Part of the deal with Kim was that the transported collection would still be available to Kim’s Video members, as if lower Manhattan’s movie fans could take a crosstown bus to Italy. 

When the filmmakers travel to the small village of Salemi to make good on an empty promise, they uncover a dusty warehouse of videos — not to mention a labyrinth chock-full of stock characters, self-serving politicians, and the mafia.

This is Sicily, after all, and this is a movie about movie lovers. Salemi, as it turns out, is a bullet’s flight from where early scenes in The Godfather took place.

Along the way, clips of everything from Paris, Texas to Night of the Living Dead help tell a story, whose nonfiction Hollywood ending is one even film snobs can appreciate.

In the Q&A after the screening, Redmon said he understands why many in Salemi were hesitant to get onboard with his offbeat investigative documentary.

“A stranger comes to town who wants to rent a movie — that just seems a bit bizarre,” he said. “… I went to Salemi on my own without a translator, without a smartphone. What you see happened is only half of what happened.”

For Kim’s part, he told the audience that Kim’s Video is also an immigrant’s story of economic survival in what was then a dangerous area of lower Manhattan.

“A 21-year-old Asian man didn’t have a choice, but I wasn’t afraid to start there and [accept the] challenge in the East Village,” Kim said, receiving enthusiastic applause.

“Go,” “Sugar,” and More Celebrate Anniversaries in April

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Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were inspired to make “Sugar” after reading about the rising number of Dominican athletes who go to the U.S. to play baseball.

By Lucy Spicer

Spring has sprung, the birds are singing, and every new bloom is a reminder to celebrate the good things that come around every year. For indie-film lovers, that includes commemorating the dates when some of our favorite Sundance-supported titles received wide releases.

We’ve pulled an intriguing variety of films with April birthdays for the list below. This month’s offerings feature a 1970s summer coming-of-age story, a darkly funny Christmastime drug deal gone wrong, a crime ring led by high school overachievers, a Dominican baseball player at spring training in the U.S., and a nonfiction investigation into a mysterious death in the Arizona desert.

The Inkwell (1994) — It’s the summer of 1976: The U.S. is preparing to celebrate its bicentennial, and 16-year-old Drew (Larenz Tate) is still reeling from having accidentally set fire to his family’s garage. Drew’s parents, Kenny (Joe Morton) and Brenda (Suzzanne Douglas), worry about their shy son’s behavior, but a trip to see some estranged wealthy relatives on Martha’s Vineyard provides plenty of distractions. For one, Kenny, a former Black Panther, is constantly at odds with Drew’s staunchly Republican aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, Drew awkwardly attempts to make friends and pursue the elusive Lauren (Jada Pinkett Smith). The Inkwell, named after the moniker for the Martha’s Vineyard Black beach community, is director Matty Rich’s (Straight of out Brooklyn) second feature. Check here for viewing options.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Go (1999) — Soap actors Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr) are in the market for some ecstasy, but their usual hookup, Simon (Desmond Askew), is off on a Las Vegas romp. Hoping to collect enough cash to stave off eviction, Simon’s teenage co-worker Ronna (Sarah Polley) offers her assistance. But nothing is quite as it seems in director Doug Liman’s high-energy third feature. Part dark comedy, part crime film, part road trip adventure, Go features an ensemble cast (including Taye Diggs, Katie Holmes, Timothy Olyphant, William Fichtner, and Jane Krakowski, among others) that comes together to tell a multi-POV story full of uproarious twists and turns. Check here for viewing options.

Better Luck Tomorrow (2003) — On the surface, Ben Manibag (Parry Shen) fulfills the stereotype of the overachieving Asian American suburban high schooler: His grades are good, he’s on the basketball team, and he has plans to attend an Ivy League college. What’s a little petty crime with his friends Virgil (Jason Tobin) and Han (Sung Kang in the first appearance of his Fast & Furious franchise character) to blow off some steam? But pe

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